Study on mice demonstrates the action of strawberries against breast cancer

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A study by European and Latin American researchers has shown that strawberry extract can inhibit the spread of laboratory-grown breast cancer cells, even when they are inoculated in female mice to induce tumors. However, the scientists do point out that these results from animal testing can not be extrapolated to humans.

Past investigations have shown that the ingestion of 500 g of strawberries (between 10 and 15 strawberries) per day offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and reduces blood cholesterol levels. Now, a new study published in the open-access journal Scientific Reports presents promising results on the potential positive effects of the fruit to prevent or treat breast cancer.

"We have shown for the first time that strawberry extract, rich in phenolic compounds, inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells in in vitro and in vivo models," Maurizio Battino, co-author of the paper and a principal investigator at the Marche Polytechnic University (Italy) and the European University of the Atlantic in Santander (Spain), explained.

The in vitro model used cells from the highly aggressive, invasive A17 tumor cell line; these were treated with different concentrations (between 0.5 and 5 mg/ml) of extract of the Alba variety of strawberry, for periods of 24, 48 and 72 hours. The results demonstrated that this decreased cell viability (dependent on dosage and time), blocked the cycle leading to cell division and inhibited migration.

It was also shown that strawberry extract reduced the expression of several genes involved in the processes of invasion and metastasis, such as Csf1, Mcam, Nr4a3 and Set. The extract simultaneously stimulated expression of the gene Htatip2, which is thought to suppress metastasis to the lymphatic ganglion in breast cancer patients.